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Avian movements in a modern world - cognitive challenges

Mettke-Hofmann, CCP (2016) Avian movements in a modern world - cognitive challenges. Animal Cognition. ISSN 1435-9456

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Abstract

Different movement patterns have evolved as a response to predictable and unpredictable variation in the environment with migration being an adaptation to predictable environments, nomadism to unpredictable environments and partial migration to a mixture of predictable and unpredictable conditions. Along different movement patterns different cognitive abilities have evolved which are reviewed and discussed in relation to an organism’s ability to respond to largely unpredictable environmental change due to climate and human-induced change and linked to population trends. In brief, migrants have a combination of reliance on memory, low propensity to explore and high avoidance of environmental change that in combination with overall small brain sizes results in low flexibility to respond to unpredictable environmental change. In line with this, many migrants have negative population trends. In contrast, while nomads may use their memory to find suitable habitats they can counteract negative effects of finding such habitats disturbed by large-scale exploratory movements and paying attention to environmental cues. They are also little avoidant of environmental change. Population trends are largely stable or increasing indicating their ability to cope with climate and human-induced change. Cognitive abilities in partial migrants are little investigated but indicate attention to environmental cues coupled with high exploratory tendencies that allow them a flexible response to unpredictable environmental change. Indeed, their population trends are mainly stable or increasing. In conclusion, cognitive abilities have evolved in conjunction with different movement patterns and affect an organism’s ability to adapt to rapidly human-induced changes in the environment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10071-016-1006-1
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 09:06
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 08:31
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s10071-016-1006-1
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3697

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